Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 51 (9179 total)
2 online now:
Newest Member: Jorge Parker
Post Volume: Total: 918,197 Year: 5,454/9,624 Month: 479/323 Week: 119/204 Day: 19/16 Hour: 1/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Will The Real God Please Stand Up?
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5987
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 251 of 364 (829284)
03-05-2018 11:47 AM
Reply to: Message 249 by Phat
03-05-2018 11:12 AM


Re: We Cant Argue With This Basic Construct
If our human imaginations are so limited, why was the god in Genesis 11 so afraid of our collective imagination?
Because we wrote that story.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 249 by Phat, posted 03-05-2018 11:12 AM Phat has seen this message but not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5987
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 252 of 364 (829293)
03-05-2018 1:29 PM
Reply to: Message 247 by Phat
03-05-2018 10:53 AM


Re: We Cant Argue With This Basic Construct
The Construct writes:
If GOD exists, She exists regardless of any evidence She does not exist.
If GOD doesn't exist, It doesn't exist regardless of evidence It does exist.
Corrolary:
  • GOD either exists or does not exist.
  • Humans do not create such a GOD, by definition.
  • IF GOD exists, GOD is likely not anthropomorphized.
  • But you overlook the obvious.
    If some supernatural entity does happen to exist, it would be far beyond human ability to understand, let alone detect or be able to prove or to disprove. We cannot even detect the supernatural nor determine whether the supernatural even exists, so could we ever possibly know anything about supernatural entities except for what we dream up? Even if such an entity were to attempt to communicate with us (ie, Revelation), what it would have to say would be go so far over our heads as to be virtually unintelligible -- and in the case that it kept every extremely simple for our sakes, why then should we have the extreme arrogance to describe it and its wishes in such extreme detail, details which we actually just made up along the way.
    The gods do exist as our own creations, as symbols and metaphors standing for what we suspect or wish to exist. They provide us with language with which to think about and discuss questions and concerns and hopes that we have, many of them very deeply felt. We quite literally did create the gods along with all the stories about them and all the commentary and speculations about those stories.
    If such a supernatural entity does exist, then, no, it would not be anthropomorphic, in our own image. Yet we did create the gods, including YHWH, in our own image, so then your "GOD" has indeed been anthropomorphized -- even when gods take animal shapes (as in native American and African traditions) or no physical shape (as in Judaic tradition), those gods are still given human personalities, desires, and motives.
    That is necessary if the gods are to serve their purpose. An actual supernatural entity would be completely alien to our human minds, so we need to create an anthropomorphic representation to work with instead, something that we could understand and relate to -- to that end consider the ever-changing personality of YHWH throughout the Bible. The metaphor of "God the Father" is a typical example, as evidenced by the extended discussion you yourself have been involved with discussing the actions of fathers and what fathers and their children should owe each other.
    Everybody has their own idea of "GOD" which they have created themselves for themselves, even though mostly all of them believe that their own idea is the only right one -- for fun, read the part of "Catch-22" where Cadet Yossarian and Mrs. Scheisskopf, both atheists, get into an argument over God in whom Yossarian sees the God of Wrath whereas to her it's the God of Love. In reality, all that "GOD" could ever be is an extremely poor approximation of the real thing, should it actually exist. That is why one should never assume that he understands what God is, because, as Augustine of Hippo pointed out, that only means that he has failed. Instead, one needs to keep working at it, thinking about it, and asking the right questions.
    When I say that I do not believe in God, that means that I do not accept your and anybody else's version of "GOD", because I know that it cannot be right. Instead, respect my right to my own beliefs as I respect your right to your own beliefs. Though I will push back if you try to force your beliefs onto me, especially by force of law as the Religious Right continues to do.
    So where does this leave Jesus?
    Obviously you are not talking about the historical Jesus, the actual man who may or may not have actually existed. Rather you are talking about the Jesus of Legend. That Legend was created by Man borrowing very heavily from a multitude of pagan mystery sources. It's the same process of god-creation that we have seen so many times before.
    Yet again, the Christ is a symbol which is useful (necessary for many) for seeking to understand and to deal with all kinds of questions and issues. And yet again, arrogantly thinking that you understand it all so you want to impose your misunderstanding on everybody else, by force if necessary, is a horrible abuse of that symbol. Instead, it should be used for your own growth and motivation for doing good.
    If it includes the need to have Jesus as a personal invisible friend, I have seen that taken to unfortunate extremes. But it can be done right, so if you really need that, then I hope you use it correctly and positively.

    {When you search for God, y}ou can't go to the people who believe already. They've made up their minds and want to convince you of their own personal heresy.
    ("The Jehovah Contract", AKA "Der Jehova-Vertrag", by Viktor Koman, 1984)

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 247 by Phat, posted 03-05-2018 10:53 AM Phat has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 253 by Phat, posted 03-05-2018 4:24 PM dwise1 has replied

      
    dwise1
    Member
    Posts: 5987
    Joined: 05-02-2006
    Member Rating: 2.8


    Message 254 of 364 (829301)
    03-05-2018 7:39 PM
    Reply to: Message 253 by Phat
    03-05-2018 4:24 PM


    Re: Just So
    But it does not explain anything more than that anytime we talk about God or speculate on what he would say or what He would do all we are doing is writing our own plot...which is not exactly what I wanted to hear.
    Yes, I know that that is not what you want to hear, but it is what it is.
    However, you are giving that short shrift because that wasn't all that I was talking about. Yes, we do make up our own gods and stories about them that serve our needs. However, there is also the analysis and interpretation of those stories in which you are not just simply making stuff up, but rather you are working with it, analyzing it, trying to make sense of it, trying to discover something newer, deeper, truer. Think of that as Gedankenexperimenten. That is the value of those stories; don't sell it short.
    I believe that God if God exists is much more than I can describe Him as.
    Which is exactly what I was saying. The gods that we create are infinitely smaller than the real thing, should it actually exist. We need to create our gods precisely so that we would have something accessible, which an actual supreme supernatural entity would not be. And even our own creations can be beyond our comprehension.
    Forgive my arrogance. I happen to believe that God is capable of communicating to us and through us at our level of understanding.
    So do many others. Isn't it amazing how you don't all get all the same messages with all the same details?

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 253 by Phat, posted 03-05-2018 4:24 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 255 by Faith, posted 03-05-2018 7:56 PM dwise1 has replied

      
    dwise1
    Member
    Posts: 5987
    Joined: 05-02-2006
    Member Rating: 2.8


    Message 256 of 364 (829313)
    03-05-2018 9:41 PM
    Reply to: Message 255 by Faith
    03-05-2018 7:56 PM


    Re: Just So
    As you will continue to carry on with your own false beliefs.
    You came upon this feeling by reading books about religion. Who wrote those books? Fellow fallible humans. They described to you what their ideas about God were and you adopted their ideas modified by your own ideas and your own misunderstanding of what they had written (complete and perfect transfer of knowledge about religion is virtually impossible, so misunderstanding what one had read is normal). To claim that you did not misunderstand any of it and received all that knowledge perfectly would mean that you are some form of super-human. Really? I've seen your other stuff, so I'm not buying that.
    Like every other imperfect and fallible human, you have constructed imperfect ideas of God that fall far short of describing the real thing and it is those imperfect ideas that to you are God.
    All of that has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not there exists anything that even begins to approximate what you would call "God."
    BTW, you claimed that you have proof that the earth is young, yet you refuse to present it. That tells us that you do not have such proof and you know full well that you do not have that proof.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 255 by Faith, posted 03-05-2018 7:56 PM Faith has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 259 by Faith, posted 03-06-2018 6:05 AM dwise1 has not replied

      
    dwise1
    Member
    Posts: 5987
    Joined: 05-02-2006
    Member Rating: 2.8


    Message 346 of 364 (849459)
    03-10-2019 8:02 PM
    Reply to: Message 344 by Phat
    03-10-2019 4:55 PM


    First, for the sake of those who might wonder what you're quoting from me, that is from my Message 397 in another topic, Who Made God?.
    Lets present 5 different possible Deities and the nature of each.
    I don't think you quite understood.
    The gods are projections of people's psychologies: their hopes, their hatreds, their wishes for power, their need to justify their prejudices, their need to diminish their guilt by being punished (eg, superego or the "parent tape" of transactional analysis), etc.
    It's not really that you dream up new gods and create their mythologies, unless you are a writer of religious sci-fi (eg, Roger Zelazny, "American Gods graphic novel and series on STARZ). But even then, you would do the same thing as everybody else: you would take the gods whom others have already created along with their mythologies and play with them, transforming them into whatever you need to tell the story you want to tell. After all, consider the very broad spectrum covered by the multitude of different versions of YHWH (whose name should probably be changed to "Legion", because he is so many).
    If you have a low RWA score ("right-wing authoritarian" scale that Bob Altemeyer used -- The Authoritarians), then you will gravitate to a benevolent god who wants you to help victims of disaster. If you have a high RWA score (a characteristic of which is to blame victims and seek to punish them), then you would gravitate toward an angry vengeful Punisher god. If you have a privileged life (eg, rich, powerful, King James I of England), then your god would have ensured that you were born to that position which is yours by Divine Right. If you are a racist, then your god will condone and justify your racism -- the same if you are a slave owner.
    In other words, the gods we create tell us far more about ourselves than about those gods.
    So instead of "let's dream up some gods to discuss", why not ask more basic questions about the gods? Like what purpose they serve. What the gods we choose say about us. How we should think about the gods. How the gods should affect how we live our lives and treat one another. Even whether the gods should affect how we live our lives and treat one another.
    Otherwise, using your approach would be as meaningful as arguing whether Kirk or Picard was the better starship captain.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 344 by Phat, posted 03-10-2019 4:55 PM Phat has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 347 by Phat, posted 03-11-2019 2:56 PM dwise1 has replied

      
    dwise1
    Member
    Posts: 5987
    Joined: 05-02-2006
    Member Rating: 2.8


    (1)
    Message 348 of 364 (849498)
    03-11-2019 7:53 PM
    Reply to: Message 347 by Phat
    03-11-2019 2:56 PM


    Re: Imagine A Deity. Write a Book About It.
    Problem is, we voted to be so all-inclusive and politically correct that everyone gets to have their own god (or attitude) these days.
    No, there was never any vote, nor has there ever been any decision to allow everyone to get their own god. That's how it has always worked. As Augustine of Hippo observed, nobody actually understands God and if they think they do then they are only deceiving themselves.
    It's not a conscious decision (at least not usually), but rather everybody who is taught about God misunderstands the lesson in some way and creates his own version of "God" in the process -- for that matter, the teacher had also misunderstood his lessons and so passes his own misunderstood "God" on to his students to be further misunderstood. No deliberation needed.
    So why is it that in so many churches throughout history (nearly) everybody would express believing in the same version of God? Part of that is psychological and part is naked power.
    First the psychological. Stanley Milgram is best known for his infamous experiment on obedience (yes, that experiment!), but there was another more benign one that I associate with him that measures the effect of social and peer pressure. You have four or five "subjects", but in reality there's only one subject while the others are all confederates who are part of the experiment. You present them with simple questions, the true answer being obvious. All the confederates choose the wrong answer. Most of the time, the subject ends up going along his peers in choosing the wrong answer, even though he knows that it is wrong (maybe he tries to rationalize it).
    So then in most churches, for psychological reasons even if you have different ideas about God than your congregation members, peer pressure will force you to conform with what they are saying, even though they are wrong according to your own version of God. And it's not just you, but everybody else is doing the same thing, so that there emerges some lip-service version of God that all congregation members can safely express agreement with. So then many personal versions, one group version?
    But then there's naked power being used to impose a standard version. We especially find this in a single church which holds a political monopoly in the society, such as was the case of the Catholic Church in most of Europe and the Church of England (whose anti-Catholic persecutions led to the Gunpowder Plot). In those cases, if your theology (including your version of God) was not the officially correct version, then you would be a heretic who deserves to be executed. In such an environment, you would behave as in the peer pressure situation, but this time you are behaving yourself out of pure fear.
    But then the Protestant Reformation opened another path. To quote Bertrand Russell from memory:
    quote:
    When a Catholic becomes a freethinker, he becomes an atheist. When a Protestant becomes a freethinker, he just creates a new church.
    The part about Catholics derives from being branded a heretic, which to Catholics is paramount to being an atheist, at least to Russell. The part about Protestants is the basis for the rapid splintering of Protestantism into a multitude of different churches and denominations; any disagreement in a denomination can readily result in a new denomination (or of two new ones with the loss of the original). I've even met a fundamentalist who talked about there being a large number of such sects, all of whom look identical to outsiders but to insiders they are aware of every single minute difference in theology between their own "one true theology" and the "false" theologies that damn the others, and they can anger very quickly if you refer to them by the name of any of the other apostate fundamentalist sects. Since then, I've been trying to figure out how to refer to them as a group -- I'll just call them all "fundamentalists", since they're going to be angry with me anyway.
    To illustrate the point, here's a cartoon drawn by former fundamentalist Ed Babinski, a parody of a standard creationist argument:
    -------------------
    Well, my basic question is: why choose to come up with a god which is a sentient entity?
    That instinct goes far back into pre-history and is called animism.
    The animistic view is that nature is inhabited by spirits and that natural events are caused by these spirits. So of course you need to find ways to appease these spirits to keep them from harming you and to entice them to bring you what you need to survive (eg, food (eg, animal migrations for the hunt, plants that grow), rain (but not too much), etc). You develop stories about these spirits, mainly to teach the next generation how to deal with them, but also to figure them out for yourself. Through observation of nature, you develop hierarchies that these spirits fit into and relationships between these spirits, adding to the stories about those spirits. At the top of the hierarchy of spirits would be the most powerful ones, such as the sun or the sea or storms and lightning. Especially from those more powerful spirits grew our first generations of gods. And so on into the present.
    We have a fundamental need to make sense of the world. At first we needed to create the spirits to explain nature and we have developed that about as far as we possibly could. But we don't still need spirits to explain nature and how it works.
    -------------------
    "It's been a long time since we've worn feathers."
    (José Lpez Portillo, President of Mexico, in a 60 Minutes interview circa 1980)

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 347 by Phat, posted 03-11-2019 2:56 PM Phat has not replied

      
    Newer Topic | Older Topic
    Jump to:


    Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

    ™ Version 4.2
    Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024